Inspector General Faults EPA Radiation Monitoring

May 1st, 2012

(Forbes) – Twenty percent of the EPA’s stationary radiation monitors were out of service last year at the time of the Fukushima nuclear accident, leading the U.S. Office of the Inspector General to conclude that the EPA’s Radnet system is “vulnerable” and managed with less urgency and priority than it deserves.

Broken monitors, parts shortages, “relaxed quality controls” and a lack of volunteer operators left 25 of the EPA’s 124 stationary monitors out of service for an average of 130 days at the beginning of the Fukushima disaster, according to the OIG. Two monitors—in Harlingen, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina—were out of service for more than a year.

“EPA’s RadNet program will remain vulnerable until it is managed with the urgency and priority that the Agency reports it to have to its mission,” the Inspector General concludes in an audit released last week.

“If RadNet is not managed as a high-priority program, EPA may not have the needed data before, during, and after a critical event such as the Japan nuclear incident. Such data are crucial to determine levels of airborne radioactivity that may negatively affect public health and the environment.” Read More Here

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